Waterborne diseases from drinking unsafe water contribute to high incidence of illness in developing regions.

The Challenge


At least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is contaminated by faeces.


Nearly 1000 children die each day due to preventable water and sanitation-related diseases.


By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly explicitly recognised the human right to water and sanitation. Everyone has the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.

A Better Quality of Life

Low cost technologies for safe drinking water have significant potential to improve the health of communities who rely on unsafe water, and thus improve their quality of life through reduced illnesses, reduced absence from employment, improved school attendance, improved family life. There is also a reduction in stress on women and girls (usually responsible for collecting and providing drinking water at home).

SAFEWATER is a transdisciplinary centre led by Ulster with collaborators in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, focused on low cost technologies to deliver safe drinking water in developing regions.